April 07, 2011
| by EH Staff
There’s a lot you can do with nearly 430 square feet so space. That’s the kind of room dream theaters are made from, and the kind of room LaScala Home Cinema of Vancouver Canada delivered. It’s also the kind of home theater that earned them an award for Best Large Home Theater from CEDIA.
La Scala is clearly confident about the quality of its audiovisual work, so it’s highly unlikely that its clients will have to dial the customer-service hotline at 11 p.m. on a Friday night. But if there ever is a problem with one of its intuitively designed systems, La Scala vows to return the client’s call for help as soon as possible. And that vow is good 365 days a year.
“The service hotline is unique in our market,” says company owner Marilyn Sanford. “It’s a reflection of our commitment to our clients. Our clients also appreciate that we stand behind our workmanship with a lifetime warranty.”
The company is so confident about its work that it positions its customer pledge prominently on its home page. It reads: “We craft great systems around our clients to ensure user-friendly, state-of-the-art solutions that really work for them. We then back this up with a 24/7, 15-minute response line, service agreements and a dedicated service department.”
La Scala couldn’t guarantee its installation work without the tried-and-true audiovisual products that it recommends to clients.
“In this 429-square-foot theater, we went with the 3-chip Runco DLP projector for its high light output and exceptional color and resolution capabilities,” says La Scala’s Kevin Hall, adding that the homeowners requested a front-projection set-up for their dream cinema. “They wanted to do it right,” he says. “We created a theater that [can] present a wide variety of movies and HD content in their optimal aspect ratios.”
The 1080p Runco projector and Stewart Filmscreen CineCurve screen with side-masking capabilities work in tandem, adjusting the screen shape from 1.33:1 for older 4x3 content and standard-definition broadcasts (1.78:1).
“The use of a motorized anamorphic lens means HD content looks pixel perfect in 1.78:1,” Hall continues, adding that the projector can adjust for super-wide 2.35:1 presentations. “There’s something special about watching Cinemascope movies on a proper screen. It immerses you in a movie like nothing else.”
Since the projector couldn’t be positioned outside the theater because of a concrete back wall, La Scala tucked it into a custom soffit. In addition, the custom HVAC system—a dedicated air-handling and cooling system built exclusively for this theater—shares the soffit. “With nine guests and a large 3-chip projector running for a couple of hours at a time, you need a good flow of fresh air,” Hall says.
La Scala also used custom CAT speakers. “They’re the best of the best,” says Halls of the 20 channels of DSP processing by SymNET. “CAT custom engineered speaker enclosures that worked with the wall spaces and structural elements. The fact that there are 20 hidden in there—three mains, four side surrounds, two rear surrounds and five delivery subs and six balancing subs—is amazing.”
The end result: a clean, balanced playback environment. Says Hall: “CAT’s calibration techs said it’s one of the most balanced and pleasing rooms they’ve worked with—that means they didn’t have to employ extensive digital processing to correct for room anomalies.”
“I was blown away by the room’s performance,” Sanford says of the room-within-a-room construction that’s padded with two layers of acoustically sealed QuietRock. “We went to great lengths to ensure it would achieve exceptional performance in all areas—including isolation. The dialogue comes through clearly and the adventure scenes come through well. It’s stunning.”
By Brooke Lange/Home Entertainment